Singing Scripture

Recently, I posted on this blog about God-centered songs.  I would like to share my experience a number of weeks ago when I attended a missions conference in Kasungu. There was one singing group, Joy to the World Choir, from Dzuwa Village in Lilongwe that really impressed me. All the songs the group sang at the conference were taken from the book of Psalms.  As a matter of fact, the group sang psalms.  It was reviving, and I, strongly, believe that God was glorified.

This is one of the ways in which we can achieve God-centered worship in our churches. When we sing Scripture, we sing God’s Word and God is, definitely, glorified. As I earlier indicated, songs should direct our focus on God and not an individual or anything.

As we wrap up this series of God-centered worship , I would like to implore all those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading worship in churches to strive, by Christ’s grace, for God-centered worship in all the areas of the church. This is what glorifies God and satisfies us as His children.  John Piper once put it, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

The worship in our churches will never be satisfying until God is glorified by it.  Indeed, as the deer pants for the streams of water, so pant our souls for God to satisfy (Psalm 42)

The Power of Forgiveness

The youth of one of the churches in Lilongwe asked me to share with them on the topic: “Staying hopeful when the world mistreats you.” What a topic!

Searching the Scriptures, I came to the story of Joseph.  Like our Lord Jesus, Joseph was also mistreated in various ways. However, one thing that kept him going even in the midst of the ill-treatment was forgiveness.

This is clearly seen in Genesis 50:19. Joseph’s brothers lied to him that their father, before he died, had asked Joseph to forgive them for the mistreatment he suffered in their hands. Joseph’s response is amazing:  “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Wow!

Joseph saw the hand of God in everything that happened to him. He knew that some things are beyond our control. Therefore, Joseph chose the way of forgiveness. Like our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross who asked his Father to forgive those crucifying him, Joseph also opted for forgiveness instead of bitterness or vengeance.

I believe this is the way to go for God’s children. We can stay hopeful in times of ill-treatment when we pray that God through his grace should grant us a heart of forgiveness not vengeance or bitterness.  After all, it is God alone who directs our footsteps in this world.